Nurturing the Undeveloped Market – Your Customers

How’s your Lead Scoring system working? Oh, you don’t do that yet? Ok. How’s the CRM utilization in your company? I see. Well, that’s too bad because you’re spending a lot of money trying to win new customers when your current customers would love to buy more.

In preparing our 2013 Financial Industry Digital Marketing Review we came across some very surprising and disappointing statistics. The sad reality is that these statistics are similar across industry sectors.

The number one goal of surveyed American Bank Association members was to widen the relationship with current customers. In short, sell more services and products to current customers. Yet, #10 on their marketing objectives was customer retention.

Let’s get this straight – I want to sell you more, but I don’t care if you stay. There are many reasons a company may not concentrate on upselling current clients. Most commonly is a focus on marketing to and bringing in new faces. After all, we will most likely have a bigger win with someone new than an incremental increase with someone existing.

Let’s run some simple math. If your business has a growth goal of 15% this year, without considering natural attrition rates for your industry, you need to gain 15% NEW customers. How about the other option – can you get 50% of your clients to by 30% more than they do today? What about focusing on your top opportunities? Can you get those currently small, but potentially large relationships to double?

The reality is that it’s easy to do. Properly structuring a nurturing campaign will generate significant inbound leads from current clients. Challenge number one is data. 50% of projects fail to even start because CRM data is out of date or incomplete. We better know something about our customer before we try to sell them more.

What are the basic objectives to these campaigns:

  • Test interest – your clients will express indirect interest through email campaign clicks and a variety of other mechanisms;
  • Be creative – show a connection between existing services and new services your customer should know about;
  • Make it easy for your client to inquire, learn more, and even estimate the cost and return of using a new service;
  • Be human – follow-up with a live phone call to customers who show an interest in products or services through clicks, web visits, surveys, ROI calculator usage, etc.
  • Incentivize – if you are convinced this is a win-win for your clients then give them an incentive to sign-on

Knowing what your client may wish to purchase next is not enough. You must measure and identify a likeliness to change. Their propensity for moving an existing relationship, acquiring a new service or product, or simply reaching a proposal stage may be triggered by industry or market changes, competitor movement, or opportunities. Be sure to identify these for yourself to know when an interest will convert to a sale.

Nothing replaces constant communication. Today, communication can also be considered service to your customers when executed right. The disconnect between sales, marketing and client service is what causes the phenomena of minimal growth with existing relationships.

Be sure you don’t rely on one group to execute well. Sales teams don’t stay in touch as much as they should. Service teams are busy executing for today, not planning for tomorrow. Marketing is typically focused on new relationships. Support all three through automated communications programs that provide invaluable data back.

Consider how an effort to better service and retain existing accounts can also mean realized sales gains for your business.

Advertisements

One thought on “Nurturing the Undeveloped Market – Your Customers

  1. I just had a conversation (argument) about this. I wish I had read this article prior to the stance I took. I would have been able to use it as a point if referance. Good article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s